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Young & Rubicam

Latest ‘Behind The Cubes’ Highlights Land Rover Work from Marc Sobier

The latest from the “Behind The Cubes” series showcases Y&R New York executive creative director Marc Sobier and his work for Land Rover.

Sobier discusses working with a group of parkour experts in the “Roam Free” campaign, which takes the practice out of its urban environment and into a natural setting. “Roam Free” was designed to promote Land Rover’s “Terrain Response 2″ which “seamlessly adapts to nature.” So Sobier and crew brought on some of the world’s best parkour experts to do their own stunts and exemplify Land Rover’s new feature in as exciting a way as possible. Sobier marvels at the possibilities of advertising, asking, “In what other business do you get to randomly work with a bunch of cool, free running stunt men?”

Behind The Cubes also showcases Sobier’s “Race The Sun” campaign — also for Land Rover. “Race The Sun,” an “interactive suspense film” that mixed in gaming elements. When filming “Race The Sun” Sobier and crew ran into a rather large problem, the sun, thanks to smoke from nearby forest fires, was nowhere to be seen. Instead of giving up, though, the crew kept filming, and they were rewarded with an especially awe-inspiring sunset perfectly suited for the spot.

You can check out “Behind The Cubes: Roam Free” above and stick around for “Behind The Cubes: Race The Sun” after the jump. Read more

Dell, Y&R New York Show Brothers Can Get Along with Proper Technology

What would it look like if J.K. Rowling was sleepy and directed a Dell commercial? That’s mostly a compliment for “Brothers,” a cutesy spot that doesn’t draw attention to itself, but could’ve done so a little more, considering it’s going to run during the Olympics. With whimsical storytelling and a few colorful scenes, there’s enough material to hold your attention for the time being.

The story focuses on two brothers, the Kavanaughs, who have a strong connection, even as children. They grow up to start a business together, Kavanaugh & Kavanaugh, not to be confused with Kavanagh & Kavanagh, a real law firm in Millville, NJ, I found on Google after watching. The Kavanaugh brothers, who have never been separated, know that they must for their business to succeed. So, one brother heads to Asia to globalize the company. How do they do this? With Dell products and with tablets that aren’t affected by blackouts. There’s a good story here, and I must give credit for the lack of overbearing product placement, but this spot could use a bit more verve. Credits after the jump.

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Y&R Ex-Chairman Ed Ney Passes Away

edneyyrWell, we got forwarded another memo that’s been confirmed legit sent to Y&R staff from CEO David Sable, who’s sent the sad news that chairman emeritus Ed Noonan Ney, who’s been with the agency in various stints since 1951, has passed away at the age of 88. Here’s the memo we got today.

“From David Sable (Y&R)
This morning we received the very sad news that Y&R’s former chairman Ed Ney passed away.
Many of you know him and worked with him. Many more of you simply know how legendary he was in the business.
Ed served as Y&R’s CEO and then Chairman from 1970 to 1989, having joined the agency in 1951.
In the 1970s, Ed was the first to understand that in a changing marketplace our clients would benefit from a full range of marketing communications disciplines. He began acquiring companies, pioneering integrated communications – what he called The Whole Egg back then – and  acquired the companies that became Young & Rubicam Group.

It was a radical concept and transformed not only our agency but the entire industry.

After Y&R, Ed served as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, where he played a key role in efforts to expand the U.S. – Canada Free Trade Agreement to Mexico. He spent some time after at Burson-Marsteller, chairing their worldwide Board of Advisors.

But we were delighted in 1999 when we persuaded him to come back to our building as Y&R Chairman Emeritus, where he has remained as an inspiration and friend to so many of us.

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Y&R, VML Unveil New ‘Beginnings’ for Dell

Tonight, Y&R is launching a new multimedia campaign for Dell called “Beginnings” that “celebrates the reawakening of the entrepreneurial spirit upon which the company was founded.” The campaign, created in conjunction with WPP sibling VML along with Dell, will include broadcast, digital, OOH and print work and is the first major effort for the brand since it officially went private a couple of months ago.

“Beginnings” is an homage to the “modest starts of some of Dell’s most notable corporate customers,” including Whole Foods, Under Armour, Skype, TripAdvisor, and Shutterfly. The campaign kicks off tonight with a TV spot celebrating the dreamers who recognize that innovation starts with new ideas. Set to a cover of “This Magic Moment” by The Felice Brothers, the ad goes through the humble beginnings of these and other successful corporate customers before likening them to Dell’s own humble beginnings, in a dorm room in 1984. The spot’s unfettered optimism seems appropriate for the start of a new year, and it only makes sense for the company to look back at its history, given its recent leveraged buyout.

The full 60 second ad will be followed by both the full version and a 30 second abridged version airing across broadcast and cable networks for the next several weeks, including during the 2014 Winter Olympics in February.

The television campaign will be accompanied by “high-impact digital and OOH billboards…in Times Square, with the TV spot and banners viewable on Taxi TV in cabs throughout the city.” There will also be a “mix of traditional and digital billboards” at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas. Credits after the jump. Read more

Y&R NY Presents ‘Sellout Santa’


This year, Y&R New York went a step too far to ensure their clients’ products found their way under the Christmas tree, tapping a “Sellout Santa” to hock their products.

In the agency’s holiday video card, “Sellout Santa” speaks with a group of children, ignoring their Christmas wishes and handing them a product from one of Y&R’s clients instead. That little girl who wants a dollhouse? Nonsense, she’d much rather have a Range Rover Sport. Instead of toys, how about a Twinings tea bag? You get the idea. The concept may run a little thin by the end of the 3:27 video, but luckily there’s a funny kid with a glazed over look on his face to keep things amusing. Enjoy.

Bel Brands, Y&R Officially Confirm Consolidation

belbrandsusa

Well, we finally have some details/color to add to the matter. In case you forgot, just over a month ago, we reported that snacking cheese-focused Bel Brands had consolidated its ad duties at Y&R after working with Havas Worldwide Chicago for 15 months.  We awaited word and now, agency and client have made it official as Y&R Midwest has been named North American agency of record for Bel Brands USA. This in turn expands a relationship between the Y&R network and Bel Brands parent company Bel Group as the agency’s Paris office has handled advertising for the latter since 2007 and will continue on as the brand’s AOR for Europe. Meanwhile, Y&R Sydney and Montreal will continue handling Bel Brands in Australia and Canada, respectively.

As for Y&R Midwest, effective January 2014, the agency will oversee brand strategy, marketing and social media for core Bel Brands core line including Laughing Cow, Mini BabyBel and Boursin. Regarding his company’s move, Bel Brands USA senior director of marketing Dan Waters says in a statement, “Y&R is the perfect global agency partner for us. Having had the opportunity to see what they can do for our brands in Europe, Australia and Canada, we are excited to see what they will accomplish for us here in the United States. They have an incredibly strong global network complemented by a commitment to deep local understanding in each market they serve. We have been particularly impressed with their understanding of how to engage American consumers over digital and social media, and we are excited to see their ideas come to life.”

Look for the first work from Y&R Midwest for Bel Brands USA to launch at a date tbd in 2014.

Y&R NY Makes Some Cuts

jcpenneyoast

JCPenney, the retail chain that can’t seem to make up its mind about which agency it wants to work with, has, as you probably know, assembled a cavalcade of shops including Doner, Victors & Spoils and EVB, who succeed Y&R following a rather brief stint. Anyhow, layoffs have ensued at Y&R, which sent us this statement:

“Due to our recent parting of ways with J.C. Penney, and in order to best structure ourselves for growth in the new year, we are reducing staff in our New York office by 15 people. Although we are sad to see some of our people go, we are confident about the overall growth of our North American network, and plan to add jobs in our Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto offices in the coming months.”

Y&R took over on JCPenney creative duties this past April.

Y&R Expands Relationship with BMO

handshaker-001-300x197

Nearly two years after forming a relationship with BMO, Y&R has now added more responsibilities for the financial institution as it’s now serving as lead agency for its client. What does this entail? Well, the agency’s teams in New York, Chicago and Toronto will oversee all brand and integrated retail banking marketing across traditional and digital media platforms, effective immediately. BMO CMO/head of strategy Joanna Rotenberg says in a statement, “Throughout the review process and in our experience working with them in the past, Y&R has consistently demonstrated superior strategic thinking, presenting thoughtful insights which have been closely aligned to BMO’s vision, brand and strategy. We look forward to deepening our partnership with their integrated North American practice to develop breakthrough, business-building creative.”

We’ve been told that there was a review in Canada for the BMO biz, which was previously handled by Cossette up north. The agency, though, declined to participate in the review. Y&R Canada’s first work as lead agency of brand and retail marketing is slated to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2014.

Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks Players Stalk BMO Harris Bank Customers

A delightful new campaign from Y&R Midwest and Anonymous Content director Brian Billow for BMO Harris Bank finds credit card holders joined by Bulls and Blackhawks players in their everyday lives. Above we see Bulls players Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler accompany a family in the monotony of suburban living, from chatting about potholes getting to taking the dog outside for a bathroom break.

Meanwhile, your Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks are represented by Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw, Corey Crawford, Bryan Bickell and Brandon Saad, who swim laps donning their complete uniforms and pads.

What makes these spots much funnier than other commercials for team credit cards is the fact that the players don’t seem to enhance the lives of BMO Harris cardholders. Instead, they just take part in the tedium of every day life. The juxtaposition of game-ready professional athletes and the typical morning routine help make these ads stand out, and they’ll definitely cause a few belly laughs from Chicago sports fans. See the whole campaign, which marks the first time BMO Harris Bank has featured Chicago Bulls players in its advertising, and the third time BMO Harris has featured Chicago Blackhawks players, here.

Bel Brands Consolidates at Y&R

belbrands

We’ve been told by sources familiar with the matter after 15-plus-months, Havas Chicago has lost the snacking cheese client, Bel Brands, which includes the likes of Laughing Cow, Merkts, Kaukauna, Price’s and more. We’ve been told that the brand has consolidated its global ad account with Y&R. We’re awaiting comment from the agency, but have been told that Havas Worldwide has handled the account since July 2012. No word yet from Y&R, but we’ll keep you posted.

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